Summer Months Have Strong Focus on Business

Howard W. Hewitt – Indianapolis, Ind. – Any young man considering Wabash as a foundation for a career in business should have tagged along this morning to Indianapolis.

Lu Hamilton, of the Alumni Career Office, was visiting Lilly Endowment interns working for Wabash graduates. I joined Lu to write a couple of student profiles about the unique business experiences the College can offer.

Our first stop was at Connecta Corp, owned by Alan Pyle ’67, a manufacturer of precision turned parts. Pyle is in his 18th year in the business with customers like Lilly, Boeing and AirBus.

Tyler Gibson ’07 and Udayan Chattopadhyay ’07 are working for Pyle this summer. They help with office work and special projects. 

Last summer Pyle hired Derek Turner ’06 as a summer intern. He was so pleased with Derek’s work he asked him back this summer though he graduated from Wabash this spring.

Turner has applied to medical school and is awaiting word on his acceptance. He was thrilled to go back to work for Connecta Corp this summer where he is using some of his biology skills in Pyle’s business.

Eric Rowland ’86 is chairman of Rowland Design Inc., one of Indianapolis’ most prominent architectural firms. His company has had a hand in designing or renovating many Indianapolis landmarks. Rowland was the architectural firm that designed Trippet Hall.

Will Clarke ’07 is the third Wabash student to work with Rowland during the summer months. Clarke is entering his senior year as an art major.

The alums and students both talked about the benefit of gaining such business experience during the summer months. Both business owners lauded the students’ liberal arts education as a strong foundation for approaching tasks with an open and inquisitive mind. 

Our final stop was a brief visit to the two-day Entrepreneurship program presented by Indiana University’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dr. Donald Kuratko led a group of Wabash students and alums through two days of evaluating business plans and ideas.

The bottom line to such an interesting morning is the wide variety of business opportunities presented to Wabash students. And as we wrap up this week, I should note the 8-week Summer Business Immersion program is wrapping up while the high school-oriented Opportunities to Learn About Business (OLAB) program runs July 9-15.

So we might not offer a “business program” at Wabash College, but we offer unique business education and opportunities for students hoping to pursue such a career.

In photos: Top left, Turner explains a chemical process used on Connecta Corp parts. Lower right, Kuratko listens to a class participant’s presentation. On homepage, Alan Pyle holds one of the finished parts his company makes in his Indianapolis plant.